BBQ Chicken Sandwich

This BBQ Chicken Sandwich is an easy recipe made in the slow cooker with Homemade BBQ Sauce, a Simple Coleslaw and pulled chicken. Such an uncomplicated recipe that will make you feel like a chef on game day.

Many people struggle with what to make on game day because they want something delicious and don’t want to spend a ton of time in the kitchen. This easy BBQ Chicken Sandwich is the answer, especially when paired with my simple Best Ever Dry Rub Chicken Wings. Add in highly requested Red Potato Salad or Tortellini Pasta Salad to really make everyone happy. Of course, what is game day without something sweet? Healthy Chocolate Chip Cookies, Peanut Butter Pie or Apple Sauce Spice Cake are low stress recipes that will satisfy everyone’s sweet tooth.

Pulled Chicken Burger sitting on a wavy grey plate.

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Pulled BBQ Chicken Sandwich on a grey plate with fries and ketchup.


Homemade BBQ Sauce vs Store Bought BBQ Sauce

If you have a store bought BBQ sauce that you love, yes absolutely feel free to use it for this recipe. However, the problem with many store bought BBQ sauces is that they tend to be overly sweet or overly spicy and often times just taste horrid. Additionally, you never know the quality of the ingredients they used when making the sauce. 

The really good news though is that Homemade BBQ Sauce really is very easy to make once you get over the fact that there is a list of ingredients to buy. Make the sauce the day before and let it sit in the refrigerator over night. Also, many of the ingredients will keep for long periods of time, making it easy to make multiple batching over many months. 

Types of Buns or Bread to Use

This sandwich is messy to eat so I recommend soft hamburger buns such as potato hamburger buns, sesame hamburger buns or plain hamburger buns. Unfortunately, pretzel buns will make eating this sandwich very challenging and brioche hamburger buns may be too sweet for many palates. 

Note: For this sandwich we made homemade hamburger buns that are seen in the photos.

Chicken Thighs vs Chicken Breasts

This recipe was written using chicken breasts. However, either breasts or thighs may be used. Here are the main differences between the two.

Chicken Breasts– Chicken breasts are leaner and have a satisfying texture. Additionally, they cook on low in the slow cooker for about 4- 4 1/2 hours.

Chicken Thighs– Chicken thighs can create a melt in your mouth experience because dark meat becomes extremely tender with the long cooking time. If substituting thighs for breasts, use the same amount. Slow cook for 6-7 hours. Shred the thighs and place back into the slow cooker for another 30 minutes on low. 

Overhead photo of BBQ Pulled Chicken in a Crockpot.


Coleslaw Options

The Simple Coleslaw used in this recipe is a creamy and delicious slaw that comes together in just 10 minutes (5 if you use pre-cut cabbage) . However, for a non-dairy option Mexican Coleslaw or Vinegar Coleslaw are fun alternatives. 

More BBQ Chicken Sandwich Toppings

In addittion to the coleslaw, here are more topping ideas:

  • Dill Pickle Slices
  • Sharp Cheddar Cheese Slices
  • Grilled Pineapple Slices
  • Crispy Bacon
  • Red Onion Slices
  • Guacamole
  • Onion Rings 

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I store leftovers?

Store leftover BBQ shredded chicken in the refrigerator in an airtight container. It will last for 3-4 days if properly stored.

Why is it recommended that the BBQ sauce be made the day before?

Precooking the BBQ sauce causes the flavors to bind together. Additionally, letting the sauce sit in the refrigerator over night or even up to 2 days allows the flavors to fully marry.  

Can the Shredded BBQ Chicken be frozen?

Absolutely! Place leftovers in a freezer container, remove excess air and store in the freezer for up to 3 months.

More Super Easy Dinners

Mexican Chicken Avocado Sandwich

Steak Pizzaiola

Dry Rubbed Grilled Chicken Sandwich

Sausage Pesto Pasta

Guacamole Chickpea Salad Sandwich


If you enjoyed these BBQ Chicken Sandwiches please let me know by leaving a comment and review below. Doing so helps to encourage others to make the recipe also. Thank you!


Pulled BBQ Chicken Sandwich on a grey plate with fries and ketchup.

BBQ Chicken Sandwich

An incredibly easy recipe that is perfect for game day! This BBQ Chicken Sandwich has tender shredded chicken breast cooked in the crockpot with a flavorful homemade BBQ sauce. Pile it on a soft hamburger bun with creamy simple coleslaw. Great for serving a crowd.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine: American
Keyword: BBQ Chicken Sandwich, Pulled BBQ Chicken Sandwich
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours 30 minutes
Servings: 10 sandwiches
Calories: 470kcal
Author: Heather



  • Place chicken in a 4 quart or larger slow cooker. Pour BBQ sauce over top of chicken making sure breasts are fully covered in sauce.
  • Cook on low for 4- 4 1/2 hours.
  • Transfer cooked breasts to a plate and shred using two forks.
  • Place shredded chicken back into sauce and continue cooking for another 30 minutes.
  • Serve warm on hamburger buns with a spoonful of coleslaw.


Recipe Notes
Note #1- Make the BBQ sauce up 1-2 days before needed and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Note #2- The Simple Coleslaw recipe can be after starting the chicken in the slow cooker and stored in the refrigerator until the sandwich assembly. This recipe makes a moderate amount of coleslaw for each sandwich. If a more generous serving is needed, double the recipe.
Note #3- This recipe will make 10-12 BBQ Chicken Sandwiches. Half Batch amounts are as follows with directions remaining the same:
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/2 batch bbq sauce (about 1 cup)
  • 1 batch coleslaw
  • 6 hamburger buns


Calories: 470kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 58g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 160mg | Sodium: 863mg | Potassium: 1323mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 16g | Vitamin A: 382IU | Vitamin C: 9mg | Calcium: 116mg | Iron: 3mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @thefedupfoodie or tag #thefedupfoodie!

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